Update: As of jQuery 1.4 you can use the .delay( n ) method. http://api.jquery.com/delay/

$('.notice').fadeIn().delay(2000).fadeOut('slow');

Note : $.show() and $.hide() by default are not queued, so if you want to use $.delay() with them, you need to configure them that way:

$('.notice')
    .show({duration: 0, queue: true})
    .delay(2000)
    .hide({duration: 0, queue: true});

You could possibly use the Queue syntax, this might work:

jQuery(function($){ 

var e = $('.notice'); 
e.fadeIn(); 
e.queue(function(){ 
  setTimeout(function(){ 
    e.dequeue(); 
  }, 2000 ); 
}); 
e.fadeOut('fast'); 

});

or you could be really ingenious and make a jQuery function to do it.

(function($){ 

  jQuery.fn.idle = function(time)
  { 
      var o = $(this); 
      o.queue(function()
      { 
         setTimeout(function()
         { 
            o.dequeue(); 
         }, time);
      });
  };
})(jQuery);

which would ( in theory , working on memory here ) permit you do to this:

$('.notice').fadeIn().idle(2000).fadeOut('slow');